Chilean Hake

(Merluccius gayi gayi)

South Pacific hake, Merluza comĂșn (Spanish)

1. What is it?

Chilean hake ( Merluccius gayi gayi) are migratory, bottom-dwelling species with moderate resilience to high fishing pressures. The stock is considered to be severely over-exploited following a stock crash in 2004. Recovery strategies have not been effective due to the high levels of discarding and under-reporting with catch estimates to be well above recommended levels.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Chilean hake is caught using demersal otter trawls which consist of nets that are dragged along the sea bed at different depths. This type of trawling is known to damage the seabed; although the extent and impact of damage remains unknown. Trawling is not a very selective fishing method and a number of other species are often caught in the nets. There are some indications that the fishery impacts birds, sharks and rays many of which are considered as endangered, threatened or protected species (ETP).

3. Where is it from?

Chilean hake are found along the west coast of South America ( FAO 87 ) and imported into South Africa. Management in this fishery has declined and is now considered to be marginally effective due to a lack of recovery in the state of the resource and management of sensitive bycatch species.